Tragic Details About Paul Hollywood

Paul Hollywood has had an amazingly successful career. Best known for his role as a judge on the popular British baking competition show "The Great British Bake Off," the baker has quickly cemented his position among the most beloved celebrity chefs out there today. He comes from a long line of bakers and has published many cookbooks on baking.

As in every person's life, however, it has not been all sunshine and roses for Hollywood. His life and his career have been marked by significant ups and downs. Fame has taken its toll on Hollywood, both in terms of his identity and his interpersonal relationships. While he put on a happy face for "Bake Off," the baker faced many personal struggles, including his marriage falling apart more than once. He has also faced heartbreak and loss. Behind the scenes of "Bake Off," Hollywood has faced conflicts with his co-stars and devastating backlash from the public. His work life has not always been the success that is seen on screen, either, as many of his businesses have struggled with massive debts. While it seems like his resilience has shone through, these are all of the tragic details about Paul Hollywood's life.

Paul Hollywood was deeply saddened after Mel and Sue left The Great British Bake Off

If anyone remembers the first seasons of "The Great British Bake Off," they probably remember that the cast looked very different from what it is now. That is because, after seven series, the show moved from BBC to Channel 4 in the U.K., prompting hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins (known collectively as Mel and Sue) to leave the show, shortly followed by the judge Mary Berry. In a statement regarding their leaving, Mel and Sue released a statement about the show's move from the BBC, saying that they had "made no secret of [their] desire for the show to remain where it was" (via Yahoo). The duo also said in their statement, "We're not going with the dough. We wish all the future bakers every success."

It was this final statement that hurt Paul Hollywood, the only remaining member of the original cast who remained with the show after it moved over to Channel 4. The baker and judge took the comment as a slight towards him and was left feeling isolated from his former castmates. All of a sudden, Hollywood found himself facing backlash from the entire country because the move was so deeply unpopular. Speaking in an interview with Radio Times, the baker lamented, "I became the most hated man in the country! It's not fun for someone that doesn't like being in the limelight."

Sue Perkins and Paul Hollywood had a 'devastating' fallout

Paul Hollywood and Sue Perkins worked together on "The Great British Bake Off" from 2010 until 2016 when the show moved from the BBC to Channel 4. After she opted to leave the show, however, Hollywood and Perkins had a major falling out which left the host completely devastated, according to Perkins.

In 2016, Hollywood insisted that he was still on good terms with his former co-stars, describing Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc, and Sue Perkins as a sort of found family. In 2020, however, Perkins revealed that she had a heartbreaking fallout with Hollywood. According to Perkins, everyone was on excellent terms throughout the show – it was only after the three women left "Bake Off" that things started to fall apart. Something happened that led to Mel and Sue being very hurt by Hollywood.

Of the relationship, Perkins said (via Huffington Post), "He was always like family for years and years and years, and it's painful when those things end, especially in the way that they did end." The presenter would not share exactly what happened, however, insisting that would only make the situation worse. She did not want to bring their drama into the limelight but left the strong impression that whatever happened, everyone was very hurt by the situation.

Paul Hollywood says that fame has hurt him irreparably

While "The Great British Bake Off" has made an international celebrity of Paul Hollywood, the fame turned out to be a little bit more than what he signed up for. Hollywood has described himself as an exceptionally private person and has been taken aback by the attention he has received, both positive and negative, throughout his stint as a judge on the popular British television show. He has even said that he never wanted to be on television. Although he loves the job itself, it is the backlash that goes with it that Hollywood struggles with; he told the Daily Mail, "The other stuff that goes with it is brutal and ​​cut me to my core."

He has previously said that fame has changed him and made him far more insular than he was previously in an attempt to maintain his anonymity, especially when he goes anywhere new. This is especially true when it comes to his family, as the baker wants to maintain a separation between his private and his public life, something that he finds exceptionally difficult. If he were to repeat everything, the chef said he probably wouldn't do "Bake Off" again; he said to the Daily Mail, "The financial benefits are great. It's a job, and to earn money you have to work hard, but ultimately what matters is your private life and your anonymity."

Paul Hollywood's marriage almost ended in 2013 amid cheating rumors

In 2013, Paul Hollywood's relationship came to a screeching halt, if only for a little while. The celebrity baker and his then-wife, Alexandra, split for several months amid rumors that Hollywood was cheating on her with Marcela Valladolid, his then co-star on "The American Baking Competition." Additionally, the alleged couple was seen in Majorca together while Hollywood and his wife were separated.

While rumors circulated about the co-stars, it is certainly true that Hollywood was deeply broken up about his disintegrating relationship with his wife. While the chef was devastated when his wife left him, he still accepted the blame for the split, communicating that he was saddened by the effect that the whole situation wrought on his family, including his young son. He even said in an interview with Platinum Magazine (via Hello), "I was in a really dark place. I didn't want to carry on at one point."

The whole situation was also difficult for Alexandra, who told The Independent, "In the space of four weeks my life changed irrevocably. One minute I was happily married and the next I wasn't. It was a complete shock." At the time, Alexandra said that there was no chance of reconciliation with Hollywood. Lucky for the baker, however, she had a change of heart, because the couple reunited after several months of separation.

Paul Hollywood's brother-in-law died in a plane crash

In January 2019, tragedy struck Paul Hollywood's family when his brother-in-law, Simon Moores, died tragically in a plane crash in Spain. The crash was a result of a thick fog, leading Moores' plane to crash into the side of a mountain near Errezil. Moores was 62. There was a passenger on the plane, David Hockings, who also passed away.

After the incident, an inquest held in Kent, Great Britain found that there was little chance of a safe landing in the horrible conditions. It also concluded that there was likely reduced vision when the pair took off, though it is unclear whether Moores and Hockings were aware of the danger of the conditions. There were no issues with either the pilot or the plane, meaning that the crash must simply have been a result of the dangerous conditions; unfortunately, Moores likely wasn't aware of how close he was to the mountain until it was too late.

He went through a painful divorce in 2019

As if losing a family member to a plane crash wasn't enough, Paul Hollywood also saw the end of his 20-year marriage in 2019. The couple announced their split in 2017, only four years after their previous split, though the divorce was finalized in 2019. In their 2017 statement, the couple requested privacy for the sake of their son, who was 13 at the time.

In a 2022 social media statement (via Hello), Alex, Hollywood's ex, wrote, "My own marriage was too over-seasoned with extramarital affairs for my taste and so I opted out and chose the single menu instead." This is likely in reference to the cheating rumors that circulated about Hollywood and Alex's split in 2013. While Hollywood has expressed sadness and regret for contributing to their brief split, he also said, "Most of what was being said was a lie or a twisted truth. The truth was very different to what the tabloids were writing." While he was deeply saddened by his divorce (he insisted that divorce is hard on everyone), things have been looking up for the baker. In 2023, Hollywood got remarried to pub owner Melissa Spalding.

Paul Hollywood was in major debt after shutting down his bread company

While Paul Hollywood may be famous for his bread, his bread companies seem to fail over and over again. Most recently, Hollywood's third bakery, Knead Bakery and Coffee — which opened its doors in 2017 — was demolished. In 2019, the bakery was shut down to make way for a new metro station in Central London.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Hollywood's businesses, however. In 2014, the baker had to close his second company, an artisan bread business called The Paul Hollywood Artisan Bread LLP, which opened in 2007. Hollywood based the operations of the broken company on using specialty techniques he learned during his time living in Cyprus (a place he has a close connection to), as well as his travels to Egypt and Jordan. At the time of its closing, the company was almost 60,000 GBP (roughly $75,000) in debt. According to Hollywood, the main problem was that he was too absent from the company, so it was unable to succeed.

His first company, Hollywood Bread, also failed, and he dissolved the business in 2005. At the time, it was £262,000 in debt. Fortunately for Hollywood, his other ventures, such as his firm Paul Hollywood Limited, and of course "The Great British Bake Off," have been massive successes.

Paul Hollywood's co-stars crashed his car

Paul Hollywood loves cars so much that his hobby is amateur race car driving. He owns several sports cars, including an Aston Martin DBS Volante and a Jaguar F-type V8 coupé. Unfortunately for Hollywood, his ex-co-workers knew his love of cars and used it to play a practical joke on him, which went awry. Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, the former hosts of "The Great British Bake Off" before the show moved to Channel 4, decided to take Hollywood's Aston Martin for a spin. It must have been a little more car than the women were used to, though, because it wasn't long before Giedroyc and Perkins veered off the road and into a ditch. They had to call a car garage to help them deal with it. Needless to say, Hollywood was extremely upset; according to Perkins, the "Bake Off" judge came close to calling the police.

Crazily enough, that wasn't even the first time that one of his co-workers damaged one of his beloved cars. Mary Berry, who used to be a judge on "Bake Off" alongside Hollywood, once tried to prank him by writing a note on his car. She wrote a note (which read 'Love Mary x') with what she thought was an erasable marker but turned out to be permanent ink. Once again, Hollywood was furious – however, according to Giedroyc, no one can be mad at Berry for too long.

His relationship with his son seems to have fallen apart

While not much is known about Paul Hollywood's son, Josh, the young man and his father recently made headlines – and not in a good way. When Paul Hollywood married his girlfriend and pub owner Melissa Spalding in 2023, one very important guest was missing. While many of the celebrity baker's friends attended the wedding, including Prue Leith, his co-judge on "The Great British Bake Off," his son was not in attendance. On top of that, it seems like things have been on the rocks for a while between Hollywood and Josh, who was 21 at the time of the wedding.

In 2019, a representative for Hollywood's ex-wife, Alex, revealed that the celebrity baker and his son had not seen each other since the split began in 2017. The representative made it seem as though this was Hollywood's choice, insisting that Josh was very saddened by the separation from his father.